I saw a new study by the University of Minnesota that encourages messy desks after concluding “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking with tradition, which can produce fresh insights.” (more…)
Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs and theories. And it is the only way to explain how Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts can simultaneously be seen as breaking every Boy Scout rule and upholding the values of the Boy Scouts. We hear what we want to hear. Regardless of your own beliefs, you can’t listen to the daily and starkly opposing interpretations of every political news story and not be impressed with the incredible power of confirmation bias.
Of course, you might conclude that only the idiots on the opposite side of each issue are guilty of confirmation bias. You might be quite sure that your interpretation is the only rational and fact-based reaction. You’d be wrong. (more…)
Clarity. If you’ve ever watched a lean assembly line, you’ve seen it. Or a busy short-order cafe. The line up process of a large well-run marathon. Even a Montessori classroom where thirty pre-schoolers excitedly and respectfully pursue as many as thirty independent activities. (more…)
If you make decisions by consensus, you waste a lot of time. But if you make decisions without sufficient involvement, you won’t gain the cooperation and commitment you need for subsequent steps and successful implementation. How do naturally clear leaders thread this needle? They consciously, or intuitively, follow these seven rules: (more…)
When my parents died, their wills suggested an onerous process for dividing belongings among 5 siblings. But at least they provided a process!
They also indicated we were welcome to come up with a better process, if we so desired. My parents, who probably had something to do with my clarity(!), clearly knew the importance of having a process!
As executrix, I gladly proposed a better process. Being me, I’m pretty sure I would have done so regardless of whether or not it was my responsibility.
So I wrote up a simple process, explained it to all siblings, asked for opinions, and then got their signatures to confirm agreement before anyone began claiming anything.
The process worked smoothly. Success depended only on the thought invested by each sibling into their desires and needs. Everyone left with a combination of cherished and practical items.
There was one opportunity for dissension, however. (more…)
My clients represent for profits and non-profits from 38 industries and there is one incredibly costly mistake they all make repeatedly.
I see it in large organizations about to embark on major change with many decisions of consequence. I see it in smaller organizations when the CEO hopes to make a quick decision in a weekly staff meeting.
It occurs at the executive level as well as every other level in the organization.
And yet, it is so simple to fix.
Too often I encounter leaders and employees struggling to make decisions. This is especially common with group decisions. Typically, the group is considering two or three alternatives with lists of pros and cons for each. They go around and around and just can’t seem to reach a conclusion. So here is my advice.
1. SOAR through Decisions with a disciplined process.
Follow my ‘SOAR through Decisions‘ process. If you haven’t been SOARing, you will probably have to move backwards to move forward. Most likely you are stuck on Step #3 because you skipped Step #2, and maybe even Step #1. A disciplined decision process is especially valuable for group decisions. Even groups of two. It gets everyone on the same page. (more…)
I always appreciate it when big companies like Wells Fargo provide perfect, highly visible examples to prove my points.
You will make better decisions faster if you SOAR through Decisions. Unfortunately, most people skip three of the four steps. And Wells Fargo has just provided a fabulous example of skipping the fourth!
The R in SOAR stands for Risks. When you think you’ve arrived at a decision, it pays to pause to consider what might go wrong. Ask yourself or your team, what are the downsides to this alternative? I guarantee Wells Fargo skipped this step and let me show you why. (more…)
When I graduated from college, I was not even sort of ready for a full-time job. I saw “real jobs” as a prison sentence that would end my flexibility and steal my chances to travel. Friends proved me right by getting hired and then promptly saying no to every opportunity while they just worked every day and awaited that first week of vacation six months down the pike. So I latched on to seasonal and temporary employment for a year or so instead. I worked at a resort, drove school buses, pumped gas, sold minnows, substituted at the local high school, and tutored the truant officer’s son who refused to go to school. Between times, I moved around, mostly by bicycle. I always made enough to get by. (more…)
“Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk” on body language has been viewed 32,728,866 times, more by now, for a reason. This isn’t the same old talk about how your body language affects others. She’s talking about how your body language affects you!
We all know that a tall posture, firm handshake, and smiling eye contact will make a better impression than slouching and looking down. That’s a no brainer. What you may not realize is how much it changes the way you feel about yourself. Try it right now! Stand tall, shoulders back, breathe deeply, eyes straight ahead, smile. Doesn’t that make you feel stronger, more powerful, more successful? (more…)